To give it its full, unwieldy anime title, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex – First Assault Online is the odd mashup of much-loved manga/anime/film series and free to play shooter that’s been in a development for a couple of years. It’s now finally getting to a playable state with the beta launching on Early Access come Monday 14th. There’s a number of different purchase options, including a free sign up.
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The beta will be PvP only for now, with several operatives to choose from, picked out of Ghost in the Shell’s cast. It’s sat patiently at the top of my “get round to watching this even though anime has never been your thing” list for around five years, and this could actually push me over the edge – it does look rather rad, eh? None of the character faces or names mean anything, but it’s gorgeously sci-fi and has the future-tech sheen that Western attempts at the time period don’t seem to use so much.
There’s a bunch of different ways for getting access. You can sign up for free on the official site, which will put you onto a waiting list with a chance to get into this test or more open later ones. Alternatively there’ll be a number of pay-in options on Steam or the Nexon launcher, as detailed below.
- Recruit Early Access Pack – $4.99 – Provides beta access and exclusive MP-V5A Rare Tachikoma Weapon Skin.
- Operative Early Access Pack – $9.99 – Provides same content as Recruit pack, plus exclusive M4A1 Rare Tachikoma Weapon Skin and two in-game currency coupons. Only on Steam.
- Specialist Early Access Pack – $14.99 – Provides same content as Operative pack, plus 1 character unlock coupon and exclusive L118A-S1B Rare Tachikoma Weapon Skin. Available only on Steam.
- Elite Early Access Pack – $29.99 – Provides same content as Specialist pack, plus an additional character unlock coupon, exclusive Motoko Rare Character Skin and even more in-game currency.
There’s no pictures yet of what any of this means, so I’d hold off to find out that and what the in-game currency is for. The implication is at least that they’re going the cosmetics route rather than something more cynical, but given it’s coming out of Asia it could be real bad.